|Group Photo before the run|
I told James that I might go and kiasu and he texted asking if I could help out? Since my original weekend plans were all out of the window and I am totally free, I said yes. And I am glad I did.
The sunday started early just like on a normal run day. Earlier still for me because I had to be at James's place at 2:45 am. All volunteers need to be there at that time. Whoa, after a restless sleep (macamlah nak lari) of less than 3 hours, I was up and sleepily went down to goreng some frozen currypuffs and took a quick shower and off I went. Thank god for GPS, if not I might still be looking for James's house LOL.
People were already busy at James's when I arrived, stocking up the cars. We were divided into few groups, the 5 hour, 6 hour and 7 hour cars plus the extra cars. James and John would be driving up and down the route, checking that everything was on schedule and that things were going on well. We drove out from James's place to the running place at about 315am.
After a short volunteers last minute briefing, the runners got their briefing. And a surprise 100th marathon cake for Mohan. Yummy chocolate moist cake. Was too early to have a piece and by the time its not too early, sudah start puasa ....... Group photo and off they went at 5am. Its a small affair. The normal suspects were Yim, KA, Pui San, Dannie & Carrie, few FMVs, Klang runners, Mohan Marathon and others and also 3 actual virgins!! 48 runners. James and Julie both signed up but were not well enough to run. Infact Julie took some panadol and was knocked out in our car for few hours. One point of time Irwan told me to check up on her to see if she was still err breathing. LOL. She was that knocked out. But she came back to us at km 37 !!
Irwan was my teammate cum driver. We were Beta 1, hydration car for the 6 hour runners and backed up by Beta2. The runners ran in between these two cars. We would drive ahead of them till a km or two to water station, then speed off and set up, and once the last runner of the group got his/her supply, we will speed off to the next station. First few were quite hilarious, the runners arrived in a flock and we didnt get to fill up the glasses fast enough (now we understand why some stations were not prepared to receive runners LOL), in our excitement we stopped one km earlier than the plan so our runners actually got an extra water station he he .. Oops. Few stations we had to speed of to the next mark because the first runner of the group was really fast. Ha ha. By the time we overtook the runner, its like another km to the water station. I suppose "this is not a race tagline" doesnt really apply to some runners!
I enjoyed transmitting via the walkie talkie .. Beta 1 reporting, all is good, over. Ha ha. Beta 1 moving out to the next water station. Over. LOL. Beta 1, can you repeat, I tak dengarlah. LOL. It was fun. After 14th km the runners started to break into smaller groups. A few will come at a time, and they will get an earful shouts from us, encouraging them to go on. Its not easy. I am sure some wish they could clobber me. Only 32k to go. ha ha. At 20km something, the route started going uphill, all the way for 3km before it goes downhill again. But the runners gave it their best, from the 1st to the last. And they all had fun, some even taking pictures all along the route. The hill climb was torturous but the view at the end of the hill was amazing. I think that would have made them forget their pain. Pain is temporary right? LOL. This is one run that runners were able to get personal attention hehe. They get to choose what flavour gel they like, or if they preferred cold water, warm water, isotonic? anything else? LOL.
We had to move some of our water stations to cater for faster runners and James and John from the maraton shops and another car would wait for the later ones. The system worked wonderfully. Our last and best stop had to be at the 37km mark. It was our last stop, we would wait for all runners to pass and then will drive to finishing line. (there were stops at 40 and 42 too) Irwan found an abandoned table. So, we set up shop. Water, isotonic drinks, bananas, bread, apples, currypuffs (since it was not that much, currypuffs were only offerred to some privilieged runners LOL), what we could find to give and help them we did. The look on their faces when they see us was priceless. I was so happy to be able to help them at this juncture. Its been a long run for them and this would be the toughest challenge. Reminded us of what Kash, Rais and gand did for us during SCKLM. And we send them off with "5km more guys, see you at the finishing" aah brings back memories!
Two runners ran on injured leg. One was limping almost all the way but ran proud to the finishing line. The newbies did wonderfully. Its their first ever and the route was really challenging. Ask Yim and KA. And they all finished it. Mohan came in with the two "not virgins anymore" to our cheers and applaud.
It was then all the eating and drinking and drinking. I almost drank the gatorade I was holding. Lupalah. Wish I took a sip before I remembered lol. Group photo and then all went back their own way.
It was a fun day, and I think all went back happy and contented. The finisher tee was really nice too. Kudos to James and his team for organising this event. Its not easy doing all the legwork but in the end all turned out quite well.
I was so sleepy driving back home, wishing I had Tiff's paperclips for my eyes but I made it home, hit the showers and slept straight for almost 3 hours. Even after SCKLM I didnt sleep ha ha. Must be the fasting thing lah.
You all should try this route next year. Hopefully there will be a RJM 2011. I might just come back from JB to run or to be in one of the cars again :) And it will be more fun if McIjam and sarong clad Zaki and Sexy legs KA don on their garbs !!
More pictures here, and go to FB of Yim, Dannie, Pui San, Mohan Marathon, Tey, and Pueh T Lim to name some for more pictures , I stole some from them too he he ..